Queen’s Charter for IRO

The Institution of Railway Operators was awarded Chartered status on 1 October 2021 and is now known as the Chartered Institution of Railway Operators (CIRO).

The organisation, formed in 1999, has been recognised for its value in the industry and its achievements. The chartership was celebrated with an inaugural lunch and presentation at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, attended by over 200 delegates.

On 26 May 2021, the Privy Council recommended, and Her Majesty was pleased to agree, that the IRO’s Draft Charter should be approved: it was instructed a Warrant be prepared for Her Majesty’s Royal Signature. This indicated the Chartered Status was to be awarded on 1 October 2021.

Speaking at the lunch, CIRO Chair of Trustees Howard Smith said the organisation’s success was built on a strong foundation laid by its founders and early staff and has grown by staying close to members and potential members. Mr Smith paid tribute to the loyalty and consistent support of more than 40 corporate members, to the institution’s tutors and area council leaders and to the CIRO staff team for their efforts in developing and growing the organisation.

The Institution of Railway Operators was officially registered in 2000 after years of planning and discussion amongst railway stalwarts, who recognised how valuable an organisation of its type would be to the industry. Following the privatisation of rail, the many divisions in the railway industry were siloed and the existing knowledge and experience of its operating professionals was at risk of being lost.

More than two decades later, the institution has over 10,000 members globally and is established in countries such as the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Saudi Arabia. It has maintained its commitment to professional development, with members able to complete a degree with educational partner Glasgow Caledonian University. It has also developed an apprenticeship programme and has area councils across the continent. CIRO is the only professional institution whose focus and specialism is railway operations.

CIRO CEO Fiona Tordoff said: ‘The award of the Institution’s Charter recognises the collective efforts of our founders, our volunteer board and council members, our corporate members, our tutors and staff and, in particular, our 10,000-plus members, to enhance and sustain professionalism in railway operations.’

Mr Smith added: ‘Becoming the Chartered Institution of Railway Operators ensures that we can be more easily recognised across the UK and beyond. It gives our growing membership a new global identity linked by common commitment to high standards of professionalism.’